Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

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Genre: Adult | Contemporary Romance | Supernatural
Reviews: Sommersgate House #2
Read Count: at least 5
My Rating: 3.5 stars!

Description: Cash Fraser is planning revenge and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she’s about to lose the home she loves.
Cash meets Abby, who is posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he’s willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck but both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.
Cash realises very quickly that Abby isn’t what she seems and while he changes strategies, Abby discovers that Cash’s legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say – very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.
Abby’s found herself in the battle of her life so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbour; Jenny, her no-nonsense friend; Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them); and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

This one follows Abigail Butler, a woman who has just lost the last of her family and is struggling to maintain the one tie she still has to them, a loving family home that’s a money pit in disguise. After her parents, husband and grandmother all die within a very small time window, she’s struggling to cope and struggling to restore her grandmother’s house that’s crumbling around her. In debt to her ears and unable to find a job, her bestie Jenny comes up with a botched plot when she overhears (the very wealthy) Cash Fraser mention that he was looking for someone to be his fake girlfriend to his family (for reasons). Jenny convinces Abby to pretend to be the fake escort and be Cash’s fake girlfriend. 

The truth is, Cash’s uncle had killed Cash’s father, and stole the family castle out from under them both. But Cash secretly bought all the bank notes for the money the uncle owns on the castle, therefore owning the house, able to foreclose on the current family at a time of his choosing. He needed his uncle to be distracted by Abby so he could pull this stunt. The con seems to be going very well, until Cash transitions her from paid-escort to girlfriend, unbeknownst to Abby at first, as the couple struggles to recognize their feelings for each other.

“I want you so attached, you can’t imagine a life without me. I don’t give a fuck if that’s selfish, that’s what I want because, Abby, you must know, I already can’t imagine life without you.”

Most of what makes this one so fun is the colorful cast of characters. You have the main character, Abby, who is a Kristen Ashley classic: kind, generous, a bit odd and adorably confused most of the time, but has an innate sense of wonderfulness just draws you in and has you cheering her on. Then there’s Cash, who is the typical Alpha Male, my-word-goes-okay-you-disagree-lets-argue-till-we-get-my-way-or-I-concede that Ms. Ashley (and I) love so much. He’s gentle and loving, but possessive and has a great, funny personality that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Problem is, the castle is haunted by a “she-bitch from hell” ghost that kills the true love of each Master of Penmort. Abby, facing a future with the ghost, instantly prepares to go to battle against her. Cash, not believing the legend, indulges her. Turns out, she was right! This one is fun because it’s a fun contemporary romance novel, with a bit of ghosts thrown in and is just plain fun. 

Penmort Castle is definitely one of my favorite’s of the series. The too-stubborn-to-admit-they-love-each-other trope with unrequited love is one that I just adore. I mean, you know how I feel about the fake-relationship trope. The angst, repressed feelings, the lies and the love for each other that sends them (and me with them) on an emotional rollercoaster ripe with turmoil that kept me locked into the story, not matter that I’ve read it at least five times by now. Read my review of book two…

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What have you been reading lately? What are some of your favorite spooky reads? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! 

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